Durango is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, compose the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. The state is located in northwest Mexico. With a population of 1,632,934, it has Mexico's second-lowest population density, after Baja California Sur. The city of Victoria de Durango is the state's capital, named after the first president of Mexico, Guadalupe Victoria.
Durango is the fourth largest state in Mexico. The state is bordered to the north by Chihuahua, to the northeast by Coahuila, to the southeast by Zacatecas, to the southwest by Nayarit, and to the west by Sinaloa.
With an average elevation of almost 2,000 metres, most of the state is heavily mountainous and a good part forested; the Sierra Madre Occidental occupies two-thirds of the state, mostly in the western and central part of the state. In the western parts of the Sierra Madre, the geography is characterized by deep ravines and rivers that mostly flow westward. The highest point in the state is Cerro Gordo at 3,340 metres above sea level. This mountain range contains a good supply of minerals, including the silver that encouraged Spanish occupation of the territory after it was discovered. These mines extend north into Chihuahua and south into the state of Zacatecas. Vast desert basins in the Laguna District are irrigated by the Nazas River.
Although the Day of the Dead is also celebrated in many Latin American countries (and also in parts of Europe, Asia and Africa), the Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de los Muertos) is most intensily celebrated in Mexico where it is equal to a National Holiday. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. The celebration takes place on November 1st and 2nd, in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day (November 1) and All Souls' Day (November 2). Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. Although it is about the Dead, it is also a celebration where eating and partying both are common as well.
In summer, the average maximum range from 35.0 °C in the eastern parts of the state to a low of 20.0 °C in the western parts. In winter, the max ranges from 15.0 °C to a low of 0 °C in the winter. Except for the mountainous areas and small lowland areas in the west such the Quebradas area, the state is fairly dry because the Sierra Madre blocks most of the humid air coming in from the Pacific coast. The climate in the mountains tends to be cool with snowfalls common in winter and have heavier precipitation in the summer than the rest of the state. However, the snow that falls does not linger for long and melts. The average temperature reaches a maximum of 16.0 °C in June in the Sierra Madre. Precipitation is highly seasonal with 70-80% of the precipitation falling from June to September. East of the Sierra Madre, the climate is drier and warmer and precipitation is just enough to support agriculture. Most of the precipitation in the state fall during the summer months, owing to the development of the monsoon in southern Mexico that moves northward to reach the northern states and parts of USA by July. Drought like conditions and extreme changes in temperatures are common in the central parts. Owing to the contrast in climatic conditions, between January and April, the state has strong winds that run from the southeast. The average precipitation in the state varies from a low of 273 millimetres in Ciudad Lerdo in the far-eastern part of the state to 890 millimetres in El Salto in the west.
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